Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Andrew Cratsley, author of Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows

A native of Honeoye, New York, Andrew Cratsley lives in North Carolina. Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is his debut novel. Cratsley is a lifelong fan of fantasy books, films, and RPG-style gaming.  A champion of literacy issues and proud supporter of the World Literacy Foundation, Cratsley will donate a portion of the proceeds from Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows to the World Literacy Foundation’s fight against illiteracy.


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Andy: This story has been in the works for many years. I was inspired to follow through with it by one of my teachers long ago. Since I was unable to put the encouragement out of my mind I put forth the effort and loved it more with each revision.

Is this your first book?

Andy: This is the first of my five book series, Keepers of Runes.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Andy: I decided to self publish since the industry strongly prefers working with already established authors.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Andy: It’s a challenging road but an exciting one. My work has been polished many times during my literary studies, and learning the ins and outs of publishing has been educational as well.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Andy: Don’t let the major publishing houses discourage you from sharing your talent with the world. There are many wonderful authors out there who are never given a chance. I encourage anyone who enjoys a good book to join goodreads and find these excellent books, as well as meet their creators.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Andy: Self-publishing has a lot of advantages. It gives you total control over the editing, format, and artwork of the book. The thought of my vision being altered by others is something I would like to avoid.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Andy: Keep writing and listen carefully to your feedback.

About the Book

An extraordinary coming-of-age fantasy tale written by a dynamic new voice in the world of fantasy, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows has garnered high advance praise.  Kirkus Reviews notes that Cratsley “believably and authentically develop[s] his characters” and calls the book a “promising debut.”  In a Clarion Review, ForeWord Reviews reports that Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows “has all the color, imagination, and drama one might expect from the genre as well as emotional depth.”  Moreover, the review states that the book’s “fast pace and gaming-style characteristics may appeal to more reluctant readers and inspire future fantasy enthusiasts.”

About Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows:  At 120 years old, Corinth is young by elf standards.  But even as a young elf, Corinth is haunted by his sordid past. When he emerges from his solitude within the eternal forest around Enzlintine, Corinth is sent away to quell the troubled region plagued by Khalid, the Lord of Conquest.  But this will be a journey like no other. Corinth bands together with two curious companions—the human ranger Aventis and the oh-so-spirited Nadine—until the trio is captured by an insidious necromancer, Mortiscet. A vile dark elf who forces the group to help his daughter Rieka find a mysterious object, Mortiscet thrusts the group into increasingly dangerous circumstances. Can Rieka escape the clutches of her wicked and overbearing patriarch?  And what will happen when the group launches towards a frigid wasteland in search of the bane of the evil that stalks them?  On this perilous journey, they’ll have to battle assassins, ominous creatures and the forces of Khalid. Expect the unexpected—because sometimes, the best intentions come from the darkest recesses of the heart... 

A splendid and magical tale with a captivating storyline, extraordinary characters and a plot brimming with action, intrigue and adventure, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is a fascinating read that captivates from page one. Resplendent with characters that come to life within the novel’s pages, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is a beautifully-written, imaginative, and inventive tale.  With its strong central female characters, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows offers a refreshing diversion from fantasy tales that focus largely on male protagonists and male supporting characters.  

A mesmerizing work of fantasy geared towards young adults, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows will also appeal to adult readers of fantasy, as well as fans of such fantasy classics such as The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series.  According to Pacific Book Review, Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows has aspects to entice most any reader, whether lover of fantasy or not…. readers of fantasy will delight in Cratsley’s work.”




Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Bestselling Author Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Donna:
I started writing books from grief after my mom died. It healed me. It comforted me. And eventually my grief turned to peace and then joy at discovering what I love to do. Write stories and create characters to love (and hate).


I knew the biggest tribute to my mom would be to write the book idea I came up with seventeen years ago. It came to me in a vision one day driving to work. I wrote the first two chapters and shelved it for over a decade. My mom was the first person I shared it with, and I started writing it again after her death and that became my debut novel, A Human Element, book one in the Element Trilogy. One day soon after I woke up with a vision for book two, A Hidden Element, and wrote the first chapter.

Is this your first book?
Donna:
No, this is the second book in the Element Trilogy to be published.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Donna:
A Hidden Element is being released through a wonderful Canadian small press, Imajin Books, run by bestselling author, Cheryl Kae Tardif, an acclaimed author and marketing force. I knew I wanted to go through a small press and one with marketing chops, and I was so lucky that Imajin Books not only picked up book two in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element, but also picked up book 1, A Human Element, and just re-released that this summer!
I acquired a literary agent for my children’s books (the first two books in my fantasy series Joshua and the Lightning Road debuts in 2015), but wanted to stay small press for my adult books. I like the personal interaction and attention with a small press, and also the speed of the editorial, design, and publishing process. Traditional publishing can take up to two years to get to print, this is something I wanted to do for my children’s books to have them release in hard cover with more exposure to librarians and brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Donna:
I like to consider myself a hybrid author. I have self-published (my short story collection, The Dark Inside, is about characters in the Element Trilogy), been published with a small press, and am now being represented by an agent in the traditional publishing vein. My author journey has been a journey of exploration. Being an author isn’t a one-stop journey with a final destination. It’s many journeys with different destinations. And we should never stop journeying as a writer, for in doing that we learn what we most desire – and the best path to take to becoming an author.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Donna:
Every road I’ve taken the last five years has led to the next and the next and the next…many times those roads

weren’t paved, they were forged instantly from taking a risk. When I finished writing my debut novel, I knew I needed to meet other writers. Within a month I joined a writers organization, went to my first writing workshop, and my first writing conference where I pitched my debut novel there, A Human Element, and it got accepted by a small press.

While my debut novel was published with another small press, I was lucky to get my rights back this year and breathe new life into it by having it re-branded with the sequel by my new publisher, Imajin Books. Yes, there are second chances even in the publishing world!

And I don’t regret any of the lessons learned along the way as they all add to my toolkit on the writing craft and business world. My first publisher for my debut novel may not have been the ideal experience, but it opened many doors for me as it enabled me to become an International Thriller Writers Debut Author. In that role, I presented my novel at ThrillerFest and made many wonderful connections with legendary, bestselling, and other debut authors that have enriched my path as a writer. They’ve mentored me and shared advice and even blurbed my books. There is a great sense of camaraderie and pay-it-forward among writers. We want all writers to succeed. This isn’t a competition. J

Most importantly along the way what I learned is that while we may write alone, we can’t get published alone. We have to get out of our comfort zone and take risks to keep moving forward to make our author dream come true, in the face of great adversity.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Donna:
It’s an exciting time to be an author, that’s for sure, with so many roads to take. The best recommendation I can give is to explore, learn, become part of a writing community, and along the way you will discover the best publishing path for yourself. There is no one best path for everyone as we are all unique in our desires, needs, and dreams. Many authors find success by doing both traditional and independent publishing.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Donna:
Just. Let. Go. Let go – of your ego that is. Accept constructive criticism and be open to improving your writing. I truly believe this is the biggest reason why I now have a wonderful agent as my champion and I have four books coming out in the next year with two wonderful publishers. And this is the biggest reason I see writer’s fail because they do not accept criticism and are not willing to do the hard work to make their writing better.

To succeed you cannot think your writing is perfect or that first draft is perfect or that your story can’t change. You cannot take it personal when a developmental editor tears apart your manuscript for you to re-work. This writing business is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. This writing business is not going to be easy – it’s going to be worth it. For advice, inspiration, and tips on the writing craft and industry visit my Writer’s Corner.

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT, NOW AN AMAZON BESTSELLER!:


Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
"Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world." —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

"Fascinating…a haunting story…"—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

"Will keep you up long past your bedtime...a pulse-pounding read."—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o

Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element:
http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with D.W. Raleigh, author of Shiloh’s True Nature

D.W. Raleigh was born in the Delaware Valley and has spent most of his life in that region. He has attended multiple colleges and universities collecting several degrees, including an M.A. in Philosophy. After toiling away for many years in various unfulfilling jobs, he began to realize that what he really wanted to do was write. Scribbling down ideas and little short stories he eventually came up with something he wanted to share with the world. Thus, Shiloh’s True Nature was born. D.W. currently resides in Newark, Delaware with his longtime love, Judy, and their two cats, Lovie and Cheepie.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
D.W. Raleigh:  I had always intended to become an author, just not of fiction.  I had planned on getting my PhD in Philosophy to teach and publish related works.  However, after getting my M.A., life pushed me in another direction.  As far as the reasoning behind this book, it was a culmination of many things. The short version is; I wanted to create something unique that people would enjoy.
Is this your first book?
D.W. Raleigh: First published, yes…first written, no.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
D.W. Raleigh: Small Press.  I don’t have an exciting answer as to why I choose this method.  It just seemed like the right fit.  Everyone at Hobbes End made me feel like they were the right publisher for my work.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
D.W. Raleigh:  Well, I went the agent route first.  I sent dozens and dozens of emails to prospective agents and nothing ever came of it.  It was when I started contacting publishers directly that I had more success.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
D.W. Raleigh:  Strictly from a writer’s perspective, the journey can be frustrating, because the publishing industry moves at a glacial pace.  I remember receiving a rejection letter from a publisher, a year after I had already signed on with my current publisher.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
D.W. Raleigh:  Absolutely.  I’d suggest researching and compiling a list of publishers that print your genre and then submitting your work directly to them.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

D.W. Raleigh:  Be tenacious and have thick skin.
*****************
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Shiloh’s True Nature
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Author: D.W. Raleigh
Publisher: Hobbes End Publishing
When 12 year-old farm boy Shiloh Williams is sent to stay with his estranged grandfather, he discovers a mysterious new world inhabited by ‘Movers’. The Movers live in symbiotic harmony with one another, except one extremely powerful Mover who has stolen the town’s most precious artifact, the Eternal Flame. Shiloh investigates his supernatural surroundings, makes new friends, and begins to think of the town as home. However, just as soon as he starts to fit in, he realizes his newfound happiness is about to come to an abrupt end. One decision and one extreme consequence are all that remain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of 'A Christmas Kindness'

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author, and editor. A 2005 graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group, Cheryl began her career focusing on article writing. She specializes in time management and organization, but has also written about everyday life in the 1800s, gardening, parenting, and women’s health issues. In 2008, she changed her focus to fiction writing for children. Her first picture book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP). Cheryl has two other books under contract with GAP.
Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. The first chapter reader, A Christmas Kindness, was released by 4RV Publishing in 2012, with a digital version following in 2013.
Ms. Malandrinos has edited numerous manuscripts in a variety of genres and ghostwritten a Christian chapter book. Cheryl has been a panelist at the WriteAngles Conference that takes place each fall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, and offers writing workshops in her local school district. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen A Christmas Kindness?

Cheryl: I’m a huge Christmas fanatic. I love everything about the season: decorating, baking, entertaining, etc. But the most important aspect of the holiday is giving to others. It’s something I try to teach my girls every day. With A Christmas Kindness, I hope to get across the message that even though it’s wonderful to receive a gift, it’s just as thrilling to give something special to someone else.

Is this your first book?

Cheryl: No. My first book, Little Shepherd, was released in 2010. A Christmas Kindness is my second book, written under my pen name, C.C. Gevry as a printed book and under my actual name in a digital version. Eventually, the printed version will be reformatted and released under my actual name too. (The story of the pen name is a long and boring one.)

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Cheryl: I pitched A Christmas Kindness to a small independent publisher during an online writers conference. Both my books have been released by small independent publishers, and I enjoy working with them. I feel I have more control over the final product, while I also have the ability to work with editors and artists with years of experience.


Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Cheryl: Though I have been writing since I was a teenager, it wasn’t a career choice until after I became a stay-at-home mom. I signed up for the “Breaking into Print” program from Long Ridge Writers Group and focused on article writing. I wrote for Writer2Writer, an online magazine dedicated to helping writers generate income from their writing for several years. I also blogged for many years to create an online presence for myself before my books came out.

I’m not the most disciplined writer, which definitely impedes my progress. A major reason for that is I feel my first job is mother and wife. My writing must come after that.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Cheryl: I’m excited about the world of publishing. There are so many more avenues for writers than there used to be. I never really considered self-publishing in the beginning, but I’m not adverse to it now. I could see myself becoming a hybrid author who releases books in a multitude of ways.

Patience and perseverance are traits all writers need regardless of how they decide to publish. It’s also good to know when you should depend on others for help. Editors, cover artists, and critique partners can make a huge difference.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Cheryl:  I feel every author has to decide what will work for her. Each person has their own idea of what success looks like.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Cheryl: Keep writing and continue learning all you can about your craft. A great book is the first step to publication. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Sharon van Ivan, Author of 'Juggle and Hide'

Sharon van Ivan lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her two cats, The Duke and Earl.  She was born in Brooklyn New York and couldn’t wait to move back to New York when she grew up.  Her parents divorced when she was a baby and she lived with her mother in Akron, Ohio, until she returned to New York in her early 20s.  There she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was a working actress for many years.  But she was always writing.  Her debut as a playwright was when she was 10 years old and living in Sacramento, California.  She wrote about the hardships of a young girl in Mexico.  The play was so good, it was presented to the whole school.  Sharon was mortified and did not write again until high school.  Then when she had a writing assignment, she would dream about it the night before, and write it just before class.  She was an A student in English.  Not the most popular person in school, however.

Growing up with an alcoholic and, therefore, mentally ill mother and a mostly-absent father (plus a slew of stepfathers) was a challenge that Sharon met head-on – as she had no choice. Later in life when she did have a choice, the patterns had already been set and she followed a similarly disastrous road until she found show business, a great psychiatrist and the love of her life, the renowned realist painter, Charles Pfahl.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen Juggle and Hide?
Sharon: I had to get rid of the childhood demons that had been plaguing me most of my adult life.  I wanted to share my struggle with others who might have gone through some of the same horrors I experienced.
Is this your first book?
Sharon: Yes, it is.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Sharon: I went with a small independent publishing company: Cygnet Press.  Timothy B. Anderson, the publisher, was terrific.  Aside from being very knowledgeable, he agreed to use my late husband’s painting – also entitled Juggle and Hide – as the cover.  (My husband was Charles Pfahl, a well-respected realist artist.) Other publishers would not give me that kind of consideration. They wanted final approval on the cover, and I couldn’t deal with that.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Sharon: When I first finished the memoir, my friend, Joan Schweighardt – a very good writer who had also had her own publishing company for many years – sent my book around to a few people she knew.  Although I got good responses, no one asked to publish
it.  They thought it was too intense, relentless.  They couldn’t grasp the dark humor in it. So I put the book away for a few years.  Now here we are.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Sharon: Oh, it’s changed so much over the past few years.  It’s changing right this minute. I think independent publishing, self-publishing or going with large publishers are all fine ways to go.  It just depends on where your book lands first. And I prefer the personal contact and attention of working with an independent publisher, someone I can actually meet with in person and discuss problems that come up during the publishing process.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Sharon: I think it depends on the author. If s/he were willing to give up all control and depend on someone else entirely, I’d say go with a big company.  Otherwise, publish independently or with a small press.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Sharon: Write.  Don’t worry about the rest.



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Anita Banks, Author of 'Tanner Builds a Block Tower'

AnitaBanks harbored her secret of writing since she was in junior high school where the desire took seed in a creative writing class. She still journaling, reading, running and traveling, but nothing compares to playing with her grandchildren.

She debuts the literary world with Tanner Builds a Block Tower, a charming children's picture book published by Wee Creek Press. 

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Anita:   Probably like so many others, I fell in love with writing when I was in junior high school, in a creative writing class. I still have some of those stories tucked away. But life took over and I didn't pursue it other than journaling, until a few years ago. I took some writing classes and made a decision to go after the dream.
Is this your first book?
Anita: Yes, this is my first published book, and I am just so happy about that.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Anita:  Savvy Authors was having a pitch contest, so I entered my pitch to Wee Creek Press editor, Melanie Billings. She read the pitch, then asked to see the manuscript and then she made the offer to publish it. They are a small traditional press. 
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Anita:  Pitching opportunities bypasses the slush piles and gets your work in front of an agent or editor. So I still look for those contests. The publishing side takes a long time, so be patient. I certainly will continue to try to get additional work published. I am so new at this and still learning.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Anita:  I have entered some pitch contests and have gotten feedback that was helpful. I'm still submitting the old fashioned way, too. I am a newbie, so I'm still learning. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Anita: Absolutely.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Anita:  Write, Read and Learn. Don't stop with any of those. Enjoy the journey.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets: C.H. MacLean, author of YA fantasy 'One is Come'



To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.
His latest book is One is Come.

Visit his website at www.chmaclean.com.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions, C. H..  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

I’ve always loved to write and just decided to sit down one day to see if I could do it. The stories and images came flooding into my head and haven’t stopped since. Remembering
how important books were to me when I was growing up, and still are to me now, I realized I had a really great story. With time and effort, I could write it down and give back to those great stories I loved. Writing is a way to add my stores and share them with the world.

Is this your first book?

Yes, it is. But it is the first in a series so only the first part of the complete story.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

After the standard lackluster response from traditional publishing, I did a lot of research on traditional publishing and self-publishing. It really crushed my previous biases and opened a lot of avenues for me. With what it could offer, I decided to go the indie route.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking self-publishing is easy or cheap. There is a lot of work do be done and people to hire to help you make your book the best it can be. But I feel it’s worth it for the control and flexibility I have over my work.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

I don’t think I’d change anything at this point. If something changes in the future, I’ll let you know.

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

When I decided to go indie, I asked my wife if she’d be willing to apply her skills to my project. She agreed (thank you sweetie) and has been working night and day as my manager. She’s great, and I couldn’t have done it without her.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

I don’t know if it’s advice, but I keep reminding myself of two things. One, reading as much as you can reminds yourself what makes a story enjoyable from a readers’ perspective. And two, just keep writing. Find the time however you can, and pour your heart and soul into it. They both help me remember, especially in the tough times, that readers deserve the best.